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Information Security Training for Employees: Essential Cyber Awareness

Essential Cyber Security Awareness Training courses 2021

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Covid-19 has created unprecedented challenges for organisations across the world and highlighted the need for a greater emphasis to be placed on information security training for employees.

The rapid transition to remote working and the increasing severity and frequency of cyber attacks has demonstrated that organisations can no longer be reactive in their approach to cyber security in 2022 and beyond.

Unfortunately, the common thread running through the majority of all cyber attacks is human error. Over 90% of all successful cyber attacks are a result of information unknowingly provided by employees, and because of a lack of cyber security awareness, organisations risk their reputation, consumer trust, and financial fall-out when employees mishandle sensitive data.

Given the increasing complexity of threats, it’s vital that organisations invest in effective cyber security awareness training to ensure that staff are armed with all the knowledge they need to safeguard sensitive company data. Every employee needs to become aware of the potential threats that they could face, whether it’s from remote working, a phishing email, or malicious software.

Top Cyber Security Awareness Training Courses 2023

It can be difficult to know which training is the most relevant for your workforce, so we’ve listed six of the most essential cyber security awareness training courses your employees should do in 2023.

1. Secure Remote Working

Cyber security awareness training: Secure Remote Working

As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, millions of workers across the world are now working remotely. This brings with it a host of new challenges, not to mention the increased risk of cyber attacks.

According to a new survey from HLB, more than half of all organisations have either been breached or exposed to a cyber attack during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The transition to remote working has meant that employees are logging into work through home networks or with personal devices that might not be as secure as office environments. Hackers have been quick to exploit these lapses in security to gain access to corporate networks.

Employees need to be trained to understand the additional security risks that they will face when working remotely and what steps need to be taken to protect company networks and systems.

2. Phishing Training

Cyber security awareness training: Phishing training

95% of cyber security breaches can be traced back to a single phishing email and despite a wealth of information about these online scams, employees are still falling for these emails on a daily basis.

Within the last year, Covid-related phishing lures have proved to be a very effective way to trick unsuspecting individuals into clicking on malicious links. Many of these phishing emails are so polished and well-designed that it can be hard to differentiate a scam email from a legitimate one.

By using spoofed email addresses, hidden URLs, fake SSL certified websites, and branded logos, cybercriminals can successfully trick their victims into falling for their well-crafted scams. All of this hard work is worth it if just one employee falls for the bait and clicks on a malicious link.  

It’s crucial that organisations take steps to ensure they are doing all they can to educate staff on the dangers of a phishing attack. Regular phishing training will help increase employee vigilance of real-world threats, improve awareness, and identify any areas of risk within your organisation.

3. Compliance

Cyber security awareness training: Compliance

Compliance training is key to ensuring that staff are knowledgeable about company policies, regulations, and the legal requirements that apply to their day-to-day role. Non-compliance can have very serious consequences for organisations including fines, damage to reputation, and an increased risk of cyber attacks.

Compliance training has a bad reputation for being dull and boring but through the use of effective and engaging eLearning, employees gain a better understanding of the significance of their actions with regards to information handling.

Compliance eLearning provides employees with the knowledge and skills they need to meet stringent regulatory requirements. Through a combination of eLearning assessments, storytelling and scenario-based training, users develop a greater understanding of their role and how they can carry it out in a manner that increases efficiency and reduces risk.

 4. Social Engineering

Cyber Security awareness training: Malware

Social engineering has been used in more than 66% of all cyber attacks and remains one of the most effective ways to trick employees into disclosing sensitive information.

Rather than use traditional hacking attacks, cybercriminals take advantage of our trusting human nature to trick us into breaking normal security practices. These types of attacks come in many different forms, but the common denominator is their exploitation of human behaviour.

Common social engineering attack methods include; phishing, smishing, vishing, baiting, whaling, spear-phishing and tailgating. Criminals have successfully used these tactics to gain unauthorised access to computer networks and steal sensitive data.

To ensure that your employees can effectively recognise these threats, they need to be trained on the different types of social engineering attack methods and how they can be used to target your organisation. Regular training will help improve staff awareness and reduce the likelihood of a breach.

5. Dangers of Malicious Software

Cyber security awareness training: Malware

Malware (malicious software) poses a significant threat to the security of all organisations. It has been used in some of last year’s biggest cyber attacks including the recent SolarWinds breach.

Malware is typically installed on a computer when a user clicks on a link, downloads a malicious attachment, or opens a rogue software program. Once installed, attackers can use the malware to spy on online activities, steal personal and financial information or hack into other systems.

This form of attack has proved hugely profitable and is becoming more sophisticated as criminals blend old and new variants to cause maximum damage. To ensure that employees understand just how serious a threat this is to your organisation, they should receive full training on the different types of malware, how it works and how it can be used to infiltrate a network.

6. Information Security

Cyber security awareness training: Information security

One of the major threats to an organisation’s information security is a lack of employee awareness. Many employees are simply unaware of the value of the everyday data they have access to. Without the proper precautions in place, information and assets can easily be accessed and taken by an unauthorised person.

Whether it’s an employee innocently holding a door open for a visitor, a password scribbled on a post-it note, or important client information stored away in an unlocked drawer, all these lapses in security can have serious consequences for your organisation.

Employees play an important role in safeguarding the information security of the company so they need to receive regular training on how they can protect valuable company data and prevent it from being compromised.

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